Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Chemicals Showing Up Everywhere

"Pesticides and fragrances are accumulating in people and Arctic land animals, part of a class of thousands of chemicals that need to be assessed for the potential to collect in the food chain, a study said.

Risk assessments currently look for chemical accumulations in fish. That misses substances that people and land animals retain and fish remove by breathing in water, according to a study by researchers at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

About one-third of the 12,000 organic chemicals in production fall into this category, constituting a previously unidentified class of potentially bio-accumulative substances, according to the journal Science, where the paper will be published tomorrow. New regulatory assessments are needed to prevent harm to the ecosystem and humans, the study said."

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